Book of Five Rings in Japanese

Discussion in 'The Library' started by MisterMike, Jun 11, 2004.

  1. MisterMike

    MisterMike Guest

    Does anyone know where one could get a copy of the Book of Five Rings in Japanese, or have links to where the earliest copies are now kept?
     
  2. Don Roley

    Don Roley Senior Master

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    Hey, you want to trade?

    I want some books from the states. I can get any Japanese version of the Book of Five rings still in print you want. There is even a version that has Japanese (original and modern) on one side of the page and English on the other.

    You pay me the cost and postage for Musashi's work and I pay you the cost and postage for the stuff I want and the labor of getting the books, going down to the post office, etc is a clear trade. But if you can get a more convinient deal, be a proud campitalist and take it instead.

    As for earliest works, try the National Diet Library for the original manuscripts. There are some restricions as you may imagine. Is this what you are talking about? I saw a version in the museum in Kumamoto, but it was behind glass.
     
  3. Cryozombie

    Cryozombie Grandmaster

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    Don,

    I will happily send you anything you want, free of charge, if you will mail me an attractive japanese woman.

    :asian:
     
  4. MisterMike

    MisterMike Guest

    Well now you have my gears a-turnin. :)

    Sounds like a deal. I'll drop you a PM or an email.
     
  5. Don Roley

    Don Roley Senior Master

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    Gotta find one for myself first.

    (I am very, very glad my wife isn't in the room when I read these things.)
     
  6. Elfan

    Elfan Guest

    As I assume you have both studied the book of Five Rings throughly if you are interested in a Japanese version, do you have a preferred English translation that you recommend?
     
  7. MisterMike

    MisterMike Guest

    I have only read Victor Harris' translation. From some reviews on groups.google.com I have seen that his is a descent one compared to some others that were clealry geared toward businessmen or were just plain bad. Harris' also has a nice introduction on Japan and Musashi's history.

    Some have said there really ISN'T a good translation to English at all. Go Rin No Sho may have never meant to do anything with "rings" but rather the basic Buddhist elements as described by the books' chapters. So it could be argued that all English translations are wrong from the get-go. Where else in the book are rings even mentioned?

    Finding a book in Japanese may not really be the answer to getting a good translation either. A lot of them are translations from "ancient" Japanese, so you have to find a trusted source there too.

    I was just looking to see if there were any good Japanese versions out there that were known to be close to the original.

    There is also debate on the authorship of Go Rin No Sho. Did Musashi write it or did a student of his? Most of what I have read from people who seem to have researched it say the books are authentic. I just find it all interesting.
     
  8. Don Roley

    Don Roley Senior Master

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    I mainly deal witht ehsubject in Japanese, so I am not really able to say which translation is best. I own two, but other than those I do not know if there are any better.

    One version to avoid is the one by Steve Kaufman. "The martial Artists Book of Five Rings" is the title I believe. I borrowed a copy and wondered were the heck he was coming up with all this extra material. It does nto help that the "Translator" (Kaufman) also claims to have have translated a Chinese version of the Art of War and he teaches at the "Dojo no Hebi" which he says means "School of the snake." It does not. It means "The school's snake." So I really doubt he did much more than take an Englsih version and re-wrote it a bit rather than going to an original Japanese source.

    Oh, and Mike, I am trying to find all the different copies I can get my hands on. Will PM you when I have a list.
     
  9. bluefoxicy

    bluefoxicy White Belt

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    I'm interested in finding a decent dual-reader (English/modern Japanese) for this as well, in the continental US. Musashi's Book of Five Rings seems a good read for me to decide on a direction for improving my Go, and I'd like a copy in Japanese that I can use as a reading guide.

    I am not skilled in reading Japanese, but I can look up the furigana and kanji and compare with the reader. I'm also reading translations by Victor Harris and Thomas Cleary.

    Just looking around right now, not ready to buy anything just this second. It seems ungainfully difficult to find such things in the US.123
     

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